When Amberley Robinson wanted to make personalised cards for her cast mates in Townsville Choral Society’s 2016 production of RENT, she of course turned to the internet to improve her penmanship.
“I found a set of videos online teaching lettering techniques – and before I knew it I had bought supplies and committed to poorly hand-lettering 26 cards,” said Amberley of her first foray into what would quickly become an obsession.
“I’ve always loved the phrase “Practice makes progress”, and it couldn’t ring truer in my situation. I take public responsibility for deforestation, as most of my earliest practicing involved sitting, writing page after page of phrases until the whole house was covered in loose sheets of paper.
“At the time, I was struggling severely with anxiety and depression, and found this creative outlet a meaningful way to express, overcome and achieve, and it’s stuck with me ever since.”
Amberley’s Instagram profile documents the progression of her artistry as she explores lettering in new styles and in everything from watercolours, to foil and even on slate.
“For me, there is no one process,” she says. “Usually, I’ll begin with a phrase I’d like to letter, or a medium I’d like to work with – and flesh things out from there. I’ve tried to tame myself into planning my work more thoroughly, but most of my creative growth comes from the trial and error of figuring out what does not work and adjusting from there.”
Aside from her own creative growth, Amberley said lettering has helped her discover a community of like-minded people across the globe.
“I’ve found so many people, particularly on Instagram, who excel at and love the same things I do. It’s incredible how inspired, supported and encouraged everyone makes each other feel – and I love seeing people who, in my opinion, are better than myself at what they do, but offer me an insight into where lettering can take me.”
Amberley is now preparing to launch her own market stall at Townsville’s Cotters Market.